Treating Glaucoma with Eye Drops
Glaucoma is an eye disease that slowly steals your vision. Generally, no symptoms are associated with glaucoma that in turn may lead to sudden vision loss. Without accurate treatment, it may lead to blindness. However, regular examination of eyes and early detection and proper Glaucoma treatment can preserve your eyesight.
It is impossible to reverse the vision loss and nerve damage caused by glaucoma. However, it is possible to control this disease. That is, through Glaucoma treatment, it is possible to normalize the intraocular pressure and thus, retard or prevent further vision loss and damage. Glaucoma treatment involves pills, surgery, eye drops or laser.
In the United States, Ophthalmologists recommends eye drop for treating different types of open angle glaucoma whereas in Europe surgery or laser is the first choice more often than in the United States. Depending upon the severity of glaucoma, doctors recommend different types of eye drops several times a day to reduce intraocular pressure. These eyes drop works either by decreasing the aqueous fluid or by escalating the fluid drainage out of the eye. Each treatment has its potential complications and benefits.
- Beta-adrenergic antagonists block or act against substances like adrenalin.These eyes drop are beneficial for the patients suffering from glaucoma as they help in decreasing the production of aqueous fluid from the eyes. These medicines include levobunolol (Betagan), metipranolol (Optipranolol), timolol (Timoptic) and carteolol (Ocupress).
Used twice a day, these yes drop are an effective Glaucoma treatment. However, few side effects are associated with eye drops .These includes emphysema, low blood pressure, worsening of asthma, bradycardia and fatigue. Betaxolol is a beta-adrenergic antagonist that works effectively on the eye. Therefore, it carries reduce risk of lung and heart side effects.
- Prostaglandin analogs are analogous to the chemical structure of the body’s prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are similar to hormones and are involved in various functions through out the body. These drops increase the fluid drainage from the eyes.
The prostaglandin analogs replaced timolol as the commonly prescribed eye drops for the patients suffering from glaucoma. Doctors advise to use these drops just once a day. Prostaglandin analogs have fewer side effects than timolol but there is high possibility that it can change the iris colors and darken and thicken the eyelashes. These drops cause redness of the eyes as compared to other eye drops. In some patients, these eye drops caused inflammation. These medications include brimatoprost (Lumigan), travoprost (Travatan) and latanoprost (xalatan).
- Adrenergic agonist’s acts like adrenalin. They work in the glaucoma treatment by both increasing the damage and reducing fluid production in the eye. Brimonidine (Alphagan) is one of the most popular adrenergic agonist. These eyes drop protects the optic nerve from injury by reducing the intraocular pressure. However, there is risk of developing allergic reactions. Other medications of this class of eye drops include apraclonidine (iopidine), epinephrine and dipivefrin (Propine).
- Osmotic agents are a group of medications used for the glaucoma treatment acute type of glaucoma where eye pressure continues to remain high despite treatments. These medicines include Mannitol (administered through veins) and Isosorbide (given by mouth). Doctors recommend patients to use these medicines carefully because of the side effects associated with their consumption. These side effects include fluid accumulation in the lungs or heart, kidney problems, bleeding in the brain and nausea. Patients suffering from liver, heart, diabetes or kidney problems should avoid taking these medicines.